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Ingleside at Rock Creek Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Holiday traditions: ideas to honor the old and introduce the new

The year 2020 has been like no other. The pandemic has put its mark on our daily lives and as the holiday season arrives, Thanksgiving and Covid will no doubt need to be reconciled as well.

As we live with uncertainty, however, there may never be a more important time to feel connected to those we love. 

The challenge? 

How to make that happen in the days of social distancing and staying safe.

While it’s true that the holiday traditions will be different this year and you may not be able to physically gather around the Thanksgiving table with loved ones, you can still honor your long-standing customs and maybe even start new ones.

Celebrating new and old holiday traditions

Most of us have been separated from our family before on a holiday. What made it harder was feeling that everyone else was having such fun together. So try to take comfort in knowing this year you’re not alone.

The good news is that there are lots of ideas and suggestions for how to improvise and make the best of it. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

Honoring your family’s customs

First, decide how and where you’ll be celebrating. What holiday traditions do you feel strongly about keeping and are you open to starting new ones? Being together with family and friends will likely require the use of technology for many people, so allow enough time to figure out how to make it happen.

1. You can still enjoy your favorite recipes

Even if you won't be together to pass the sweet potatoes, who says you can’t still enjoy your grandmother’s famous pecan pie or your aunt’s unrivaled cranberry sauce?

If you’re the one usually in charge of the meal, choose one or two of the family’s favorite recipes and send along to those who won’t be able to join you. It’s comforting to know that you’ll all be sitting down to share the favorites – even if miles apart.

2. Remember those who are no longer with you

Many families’ traditions include honoring those no longer with them. Think back on all the laughter and tears in years past as everyone shared a special story or memory they had.

This year take advantage of technology. Honor this new or old tradition by scheduling a video chat and encourage the memories to flow once again.

3. Create a memory book to share

Consider crafting a small memory book of past Thanksgivings and make copies to share with others. Holidays are likely to be some of the most photographed events so hopefully, you have plenty of old photos of previous celebrations.

Add a few notes or memories – including the funny mishap with the turkey that one year or other inside family holiday jokes. Capturing these moments and being able to share them will brighten everyone’s day.

4. Virtual dinner

If Thanksgiving and Covid can’t mix, consider coordinating dinner with your loved ones and schedule a video chat so that everyone is sitting down at the same time together. Or if it’s easier, set a time aside for dessert or to go around the table to share what everyone is thankful for or any other practices your family may keep.

Create new holiday customs

Traditions often take hold due to necessity. This year, Covid will no doubt be the cause for many changed plans. So why not take this opportunity to create one or two new rituals for your family. They may just last the test of time and someday become a time-honored tradition as well.

1. Take the celebration outside

If you live where it’s warm and can dine outdoors, you may feel it’s safe enough to get together in a small group. Or consider taking a refreshing walk after dinner. There is something about getting out in nature that can lift your spirits, especially if you’re feeling a little low from not being able to all be together.

2. Watch a favorite movie

Choose one or two movies that have a Thanksgiving theme, even if it plays only a background or supporting role. Or choose a silly comedy or a feel-good drama that you can start watching every year. This is also an activity easily shared with others, no matter where they are.

3. Let the games begin

Whether your family always gathered after dinner to play a game or this is a tradition you’d like to start, it can still happen this year digitally.

Do a little on-line research to find drawing or guessing games that can be played virtually. And don’t forget the old classics, such as charades that can easily be acted out over a video screen.

Have the conversations early

Talk to your family and friends ahead of time so that everyone is on board with expectations. Discuss the type of celebration you have in mind or will be comfortable with to remain as safe as possible. Although some people may decide to travel to be with loved ones, others may believe it’s better to stay closer to home.

Embrace the change

It’s easier to accept changes by embracing them instead of trying to push back. Accept that things will be different this year and decide to be ok with that. If you try to make the day exactly as it’s always been, you’ll no doubt be disappointed.

And remember, even in 2020 there is something to be thankful for. It may take a little more determination to discover it, but you’ll likely find you are still surrounded by many blessings.

Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living

We understand that everything looks a little different this year for our residents and their families. But we are here to support everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with your best effort. Decorate your home and put out the good china to tempt the holiday spirit to join in.

If you are considering a move to an independent living community, we invite you to discover all that Ingleside at Rock Creek has to offer.

Here are a few of the amazing benefits of our retirement living:

  • A high-quality lifestyle

  • Beautiful and stylish homes

  • First-class fitness center and heated pool

  • Chef-prepared meals

  • Theater, library and card/game room

  • Variety of cultural, social and entertainment options

  • Maintenance-free living

  • Easy access to world-class shopping, dining and entertainment choices of Washington, D.C.

Call (202) 905-0018 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.


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